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Strong Support For School Speed Zones

24 January 2001

Special trial speed zones at five Christchurch schools have received the thumbs up.

A year on from the introduction of the 40km/h part-time trial school speed zones there is strong support for them from the school communities where they are located.

A Christchurch City Council survey to evaluate what people think of the effectiveness of the school speed zones has so far received replies from parents at the five participating schools and from nearby residents. They show that most people find the school speed zones have raised their awareness of school children (66 per cent) and have increased child safety (69 per cent).

Large numbers of respondents also thought the school speed zones to be a good idea (96 per cent), and would like to see them at more schools (92 per cent).

Most people also say they drive at or below 40km/h when the school speed zone is active (77 per cent). Those replying to the survey say they have noticed lower vehicle speeds since the school speed zones have come into affect (84 per cent).

"Comments we are getting show strong support for the school speed zones, with people saying they want to see them extended", said council Safe Routes To School Coordinator Paul Cottam, today.

"Drivers are saying that they do not mind the temporary speed restrictions before and after school, as they can see the importance of child road safety," he said.

To assist with the police "Back to School" enforcement campaign at the five school speed zones, the council will have its static speed trailer operating. "The trailer will display passing vehicle speeds and, if vehicles are over the limit, show how much they could be fined," Mr Cottam said.

The enforcement campaign will run from 30 January to 9 February. A sample of the general motoring public of Christchurch will be surveyed in February, through the Automobile Association's Directions magazine. A full evaluation report will then be produced. The Land Transport Safety Authority has measured the vehicle speeds at the school speed zone locations and the results are expected to be available soon. Trial schools involved are Belfast, Bishopdale, Harewood, Halswell and Branston Intermediate.

Christchurch City Council http://www.ccc.govt.nz

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